5 Great New Years Resolutions for People in Recovery

We’re nearing the end of the year and with it many are taking this time to self-reflect and prepare for the next year. This is also when people typically decide their New Year’s Resolution and set personal goals they aspire to achieve in the coming year. Losing weight, overcoming debt, making career changes, and finding new love are all typical New Year’s resolutions we hear year after year. While these goals can help improve your overall quality of life, many people are unsuccessful because these goals are often impersonal and lack commitment and planning.

We challenge you to set New Year’s resolutions that help you reach your goals in and beyond your recovery for the upcoming year. Not sure where to begin? Here are five great new year’s resolutions for people in recovery!

Be Kind to Yourself and Others. Being self–critical is easy—most of us do it without even realizing it. In the upcoming year, practice active mindfulness in how you treat yourself and others.

Make Self-Care a Priority. Regularly practicing self-care helps to keep you in sync with yourself and address mental and emotional challenges before the threat of relapse even occurs. Make time in your schedule for the things you love, self-reflection, and rest.

Give Back to the Community. Being involved in the community is a great way to enrich your life and help you remain busy and productive.

Experience More of the World. Addiction recovery is a second chance at life, so make the most of it! Connect with the world around you through travel, exploring expressive arts, and trying new culinary treats.

Share Your Testimony. Your story is essential—it could help save someone’s life. Sharing it as a part of your new year’s resolution can be cathartic and help re-establish your commitment to sobriety.

Now that you’ve made a New Year’s Resolution, it’s time to keep it! Most resolutions don’t make it to the end of January for one of three reasons:
The resolution is too unclear
It’s based on what society is telling you to change
Lacking a realistic plan

Staying mindful of these issues will help you make and keep your goals. When setting your resolution for the upcoming year, keep these tips in mind:

Resolutions should be made S.M.A.R.T.
Specific. Your New Year’s Resolution should be narrow in focus, simple in practice, sensible and significant.

  • What do I want to accomplish?
  • Why is it important to me?
  • Who else is involved, if anyone?
  • Where does it take place?
  • Which resources are involved?

Measurable. While the goal should be meaningful, it should also be motivating. Particularly, it should be something you really want to change.

  • How many?
  • How much?
  • When will it be accomplished? Is this a lifetime goal?

Achievable. It doesn’t need to be an all-or-nothing affair; little steps toward a big goal make a difference. Your New Year’s resolution should be attainable in practice. If you are trying to incorporate a new healthy habit into your life, a good approach would be starting with one time a week and subsequently increasing the frequency.

  • How can I accomplish this resolution?
  • How realistic is the goal? Are there any constraints? Are there any financial factors?
  • Relevant. Is it reasonable and realistic? Think about what results it will yield. Will the individual steps make the goal more probable? Will the resolution make the sought-after outcome more likely?
  • Does this seem like the right time?
  • Does this match our needs or efforts?
  • Is this applicable?

Time-Bound. Your resolution should be time-sensitive. If there is no urgency, other plans are more likely to be prioritized over your goal, and mundane errands may interfere with your goal. It’s essential to set aside ample time to complete your new year’s resolution.

  • What steps can I take today?
  • What steps can I take six weeks from now?
  • What steps can I take six months from now?

Making S.M.A.R.T. goals can improve your ability to reach your full potential by encouraging you to define your objective and plan out what your goal realistically looks like long term. These goals can be used anywhere, by anyone, or for anything without the need for any training or tools.

Whether you choose your New Year’s resolution from this list or craft your own, be sure to enter the new year optimistically and ready to take on the challenges that lie ahead! Happy New Year!

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